Good afternoon members of the media,
I would have loved to stand here this afternoon and say to you that today’s Throne Speech was inspirational…hopeful…impactful…and a clear indication that Bermuda and its people is well on its way to healthy economic recovery. However, after listening to it this morning, I was disheartened as it was empty and lacked substance…and clearly shows that the Progressive Labour Party has lost its connection with the residents on this island, and truly has no real plan for their futures.
The Throne Speech lacked new and innovative direction. It felt like more of the same…lots of talk, but not much action. Where was the vision? The Throne Speech felt like that awkward kid in high school—trying to make everybody happy, but we all know how that ends: no one ends up satisfied.
Give me a moment to share a few of our thoughts…
Where are the real solutions for reducing the cost of living for Bermuda and its people? How can the Government talk about reducing the cost of living yet still has not addressed one of the biggest problems plaguing Bermuda from one end of the island to another: the crippling escalation of energy bills.
The Government continues to discuss mimimum wage in Bermuda, but isn’t talking about the impact.
In spite of Government’s efforts, any easement has taken too long, and its promises have not materialised.
I am asking Premier Burt…What is the real inflation rate? The Progressive Labour Party Government owes it the people of Bermuda to be honest. Solutions cannot be attained if there is no clarity on what the real problem is.
And let’s be clear…the Government can’t lower the cost living in Bermuda because it is in debt.
Bermuda desperately needs to revitalise its lagging tourism product. Greater discretion for politicians is what has messed up tourism. The worrying thing is now since the PLP came in power and a former Tourism Minister said he was ripping out the engine…he certainly did that, but now what are we left with? The Tourism Authority is now being run by a number of people in acting roles. This is unacceptable.
The One Bermuda Alliance is always open to initiatives which attract investment – which we did when we were in Government – but where has the Government demonstrated they are capable of doing this to date?
I found it very interesting that the Government says its committed to reducing climate change yet it has done very little to protect the residents near the Belco facility who have had to live with soiled roofs and discoloured water for years.
Turning to healthcare…
On behalf of the One Bermuda Alliance, I would like to thank the health care workers who worked and continue to work tirelessly in the frontline fight against covid.
Now, the real challenges we had before covid, are worse. Many questions about the Hospital’s finances that have gone unanswered. Government continues to inject money into the Bermuda Hospitals Board that hasn’t been budgeted for. This is unsustainable.
And we still have no health care plan.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the big green elephant in the room today. How could the PLP Government raise the topic of independence at a time like this? Families are trying to figure out how they are going to eat and pay bills and are worrying about their futures. To raise independence at this juncture is yet another stark reminder that Premier Burt and his Government has truly lost touch with the people.
Where was any mention of seniors, mental health issues, youth, homelessness, crime…also the important issues of immigration and emigration…there was no mention at all. How are we to address the expansion of our workforce which will help strengthen the economy and how are we going to deal with the flight of Bermudians who are leaving the island at alarming levels.
This Government appears to have lost its way.
The PLP opened the Throne Speech by stating Bermuda has been tested. This PLP Government has failed.